As David Ortiz stood in the batters box today with his team trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the 8th, in the first game back in Fenway following the Boston marathon bombing and ensuing developments, it hit me. Here it is! Here is the Mike Piazza moment for Red Sox fans. Mike Piazza, the Mets most iconic player on their roster, came to the plate in the first game back in NYC following 9/11 with his Mets trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the 8th. The at bat came after Liza Minnelli came on the field and performed the New York anthem "New York, New York" for the 7th inning stretch.
Piazza launched a massive 2-run homer that would give the Mets the lead and eventually the win.
Back to Fenway. Neil Diamond had just come on the field (he volunteered to fly in from LA do it) and performed the Red Sox anthem "Sweet Caroline."
As Papi dug in I braced for drama. Here was the Red Sox icon ready to do something great for "our f'ing city" as he proclaimed it before the game. Instead Ortiz grounded into a double play. So much for that. But two batters later Daniel Nava drove one deep to right for a 3-run shot, giving the Sox the lead and eventually the win.
I still get goose bumps every time I watch the Piazza homer. I'm sure Red Sox fans will have the same reaction to Nava's moment.
Those moments are the reason I believe in the baseball gods. Stuff that always seems to "just happen" always seems to just happen when needed the most. That's why sports is better than anything else.